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Matt McGrath & The Carbon Crash

May 6, 2020
tags:

By Paul Homewood

 

 

Matt McGrath is away with the fairies again!

 image


 

We’re living through the biggest carbon crash ever recorded.

No war, no recession, no previous pandemic has had such a dramatic impact on emissions of CO2 over the past century as Covid-19 has in a few short months.

Multiple sources indicate we are now living through an unrivalled drop in carbon output.

But even though we will see a massive fall this year, the concentrations of CO2 that are in the atmosphere and warming our planet won’t stabilise until the world reaches net-zero.

As our chart shows, since the Spanish flu killed millions over 100 years ago, the global expansion of emissions of CO2, from the use of oil, gas and coal has risen massively.

Alt - Global CO2 emissions, 976 wide - IEA Presentational white space

While these energy sources have transformed the world, the carbon seeping into our atmosphere has driven up global temperatures by just over 1C since the mid-1850s.

They could rise by 3-4C by the end of this century if CO2 levels aren’t savagely reduced.

Over the past 100 years, as indicated on the graphic, a number of events have shown that dramatic falls in carbon are possible.

Much is made of the financial crash in 2008-2009, but in reality, carbon emissions only fell by around 450 million tonnes between 2008 and 2009.

This is much smaller than the fall in CO2 in the aftermath of World War II, which saw a drop of around 800 million tonnes.

It is also smaller than the global recession in the early 1980s that followed the oil crisis of the late 1970s.

During this period, CO2 went down by around one billion tonnes.

But the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 dwarves all of these previous shocks by some distance.

In a few months, demand for energy globally has fallen off a cliff.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that the world will use 6% less this year – equivalent to losing the entire energy demand of India.

This will feed through to large falls in CO2.

covid Image copyright Getty Images

A number of different analyses, including this one from Carbon Brief, show that emissions this year will fall by 4-8%, somewhere between 2 and 3 billion tonnes of the warming gas.

That’s between six and ten times larger than during the last global recession.

We’re travelling less

By air and on roads, the world has cut back heavily on travel.

Full lockdowns have also pushed global electricity demand down by 20% or more, says the IEA.

Across the full year, the need for electricity will fall by 5% – the biggest drop since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

TomTom data - 976 Presentational white space

"This is an historic shock to the entire energy world," says Dr Fatih Birol, IEA executive director.

The changes in energy demand will have a knock-on effect on global coal demand, which is set to fall 8% this year.

With China the first country to stall its economy in response to the virus, coal use dropped sharply at first, though it is now rebounding and the expectation among energy analysts is that production this year will be down by just over 1%.

Researchers say the biggest thing hitting CO2 emissions right now is the reduction in road transport.

air travel Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Air travel has fallen by half in the US

According to the IEA global average road transport activity fell to 50% of the 2019 level by the end of March 2020.

As can be seen in our chart, almost every country has seen a huge drop in road use. This has resulted in a massive fall in the use of oil.

"Back in the 2009 recession, average oil demand dropped by 1.3 million barrels per day versus 2008. And now 2020 is set to average 10 million barrels per day less than 2019." said Erik Holm Reiso, from Rystad Energy, an independent research firm.

"It’s a much more severe cycle."

Similarly, air travel has dropped hugely, but by different amounts in different regions.

Infographic - airline capacity, 976 wide Presentational white space

In Europe, the number of flights is down around 90%, whereas in the US it has been more resilient with around half the number of planes taking off compared to last year.

Globally, though, the demand for jet fuel is down 65% year-on-year to April.

"What we’re seeing is that the largest relative reduction is in air traffic," said Robbie Andrew, a senior researcher at the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research (Cicero).

"But air emissions are only about 3% of global total. So while the relative reductions in land transport are lower than air transport, the absolute reductions there are much more significant."

It’s not the same everywhere

While the lockdown might feel rather uniform across the world, there have been huge variations in emissions reductions from different cities.

If we take Paris and New York as examples, the contrast, as shown on our chart, is huge.

Paris saw a CO2 drop of 72% (+/-15%) in the month of March compared to normal.

New York in the same period, saw a CO2 fall of around 10%.

 

So why the big difference?

"In the Paris area, there are no large fossil fuel power plants, or industrial sites," said Philippe Ciais, from the Institut Pierre Simon Laplace in Paris.

"Another difference is whether buildings are heated with fuels or with electricity. In France, around 70% of electricity comes from nuclear."

Much of New York’s CO2 comes from emissions related to the heating of buildings. But significant emissions come from fossil fuel plants based within the city limits. Cars make up a much smaller proportion of overall energy use.

Infographic - March lockdown emissions, Paris and New York, 976 wide Presentational white space

"I guess something to think about is that we shut down the entire city and got a reduction of 10% in the CO2 emissions," said Prof Róisín Commane from Columbia University in New York.

"We are still emitting more than 80% of our previous CO2 emissions. That is a massive number. So personal behaviour really isn’t going to fix the carbon emission problem. We need a systematic change in how energy is generated and transmitted."

Have CO2 emissions already peaked?

Back in 2008, the European electricity industry was hit badly by the global financial recession and demand for power fell sharply.

But when that demand picked up again, it was solar and wind that were by then large enough to supply all the growth.

Europe’s use of fossil fuels to produce electricity never returned to the level it had been at before the crash.

Experts now believe something similar could happen with the coronavirus pandemic.

"In about half of the world, we’ve already seen peak demand for fossil fuels," said Kingsmill Bond, from independent financial think tank Carbon Tracker.

"In Europe it was 2005, in the USA 2007."

This means that the trend in demand has been downhill ever since.

He added: "There has been a global coal demand peak in 2013. If you look at car demand, it is increasingly accepted that you saw peak conventional car demand in 2017."

So will the pandemic’s big hit on carbon mean that last year, 2019, becomes the year the world reached a turning point?

Not so fast.

The carbon emissions drop that followed the recession in 2009 was followed by a sharp rise of almost 6% in 2010.

Something similar could happen over the next couple of years.

"At this point, we do not see any clear signs that the pandemic and our societal response to it will lead to significant and permanent changes in the path of future global emissions," said Robbie Andrew from Cicero.

"Right at the moment what we’re seeing are immediate emissions responses, and following most previous crises, global emissions have returned to their pre-crisis trajectory."

 

What if CO2 was cut like this each year?

To keep the world on track to stay under 1.5C this century, the world needs similar cuts for the foreseeable future to keep this target in view.

"If Covid-19 leads to a drop in emissions of around 5% in 2020, then that is the sort of reduction we need every year until net-zero emissions are reached around 2050," said Glen Peters, also from Cicero.

"Such emissions reductions will not happen via lockdowns and restrictions, but by climate policies that lead to the deployment of clean technologies and reductions in demand for energy."

Energy experts believe there will be a bounce back next year, but that, long term, the world will move to greener fuels.

Alt Global CO2 and 1.5C, 976-wide Presentational white space

But it may not be enough to keep temperatures down to safer levels.

"That downward slope will accelerate over time beyond peak fossil energy," said Erik Holm Reiso, from Rystad Energy.

"That doesn’t chime with 1.5C, but maybe 1.8-1.9C degrees could be within reach and this situation right now could help achieve that, I think."

Lessons learnt?

Many climate researchers are optimistic that this deadly pandemic has taught governments some critical lessons that they can apply to the problem of rising temperatures.

The big challenge is to ensure the recovery has a green focus.

According to Prof Gail Whiteman from Lancaster University, UK, it was almost impossible to believe that governments around the world, when faced with a health emergency, would put humanity ahead of the economy. But they did.

 

"We can recover from an existential, complex threat and emerge much stronger and more resilient," she says.

"Which strengthens the idea that we can do things differently on climate, that we can tackle this one.

"I think it gives us huge energy."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52485712 

 

Sorry to spoil the party, Matt, but there one or two holes in your logic!

First of all, despite most of the world being on lockdown, emissions will only fall by 6%, effectively taking them back to where they were in 2015. In other words, half crippling the world’s economy has made no more than a dent.

He then proceeds to claim:

While these energy sources have transformed the world, the carbon seeping into our atmosphere has driven up global temperatures by just over 1C since the mid-1850s.

But as his own graph shows, emissions of carbon dioxide barely increased at all until after the war, so could not have causes the first part of the warming.

Alt - Global CO2 emissions, 976 wide - IEA

 

Furthermore the fastest rise in CO2 was between the war and 1980, but this was also a period of global cooling.

 

Laughingly he then writes:

Over the past 100 years, as indicated on the graphic, a number of events have shown that dramatic falls in carbon are possible.

But none of these were “dramatic”, more like blips. And the idea that we should embrace a 1930s style Great Depression or bomb ourselves to smithereens, just so we can cut CO2 by a little bit, would not be regarded by any sane person as “possible”.

As he points out, travel by both car and planes has collapsed. Yet the resulting fall in emissions has been tiny. This proves that the clamouring from eco-loons to ban these methods of transport will make little overall difference.

But still he dreams on!

Back in 2008, the European electricity industry was hit badly by the global financial recession and demand for power fell sharply.

But when that demand picked up again, it was solar and wind that were by then large enough to supply all the growth.

Europe’s use of fossil fuels to produce electricity never returned to the level it had been at before the crash.

Experts now believe something similar could happen with the coronavirus pandemic.

He apparently forgets that the only reason why renewables took up the slack in Europe was because of the massive subsidies thrown at them. Even then in the EU, emissions of carbon dioxide have only fallen by 11% since 2009.

There is no serious likelihood that Asia and the rest of the developing world could afford or would want to do the same as Europe did.

Indeed, everything about Europe’s experience suggests that renewables will never be able to play more than a minor role in powering modern economies.

As he admits, the world would need emission cuts of the current magnitude every year until 2050, to hit the 1.5C target. Plainly we cannot even afford this year’s economic collapse for long, never mind 30 years worth!

Final word goes to Prof Gail Whiteman, who apparently is Director of the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business – a non job if I ever saw one:

It was almost impossible to believe that governments around the world, when faced with a health emergency, would put humanity ahead of the economy. But they did.

Unfortunately, Gail, humanity and the economy ultimately go hand in hand. You cannot separate them.

The economy is not some abstract phenomenon, but is made up of the livelihoods of ordinary people. Damage one and you damage the other.

Is that what you want?

44 Comments
  1. Ariane permalink
    May 6, 2020 7:09 pm

    Matt McGrath et al are useful idiots for the fanatical anti-humanity de-industrialists.

    • A man of no rank permalink
      May 6, 2020 9:09 pm

      “But even though we will see a massive fall this year, the concentrations of CO2 that are in the atmosphere and warming our planet won’t stabilise until the world reaches net-zero.concentrations”

      This CO2/warming story is told so many times that it is quoted as fact, and we hardly notice when the BBC sneaks it in. If this correlation is not correct (and it isn’t) then their article is either incompetent or fraudulent.
      As we all know, building whole economies around Carbon reduction policies will lead to failure. Please – not in my name!

  2. MrGrimNasty permalink
    May 6, 2020 7:14 pm

    And no mention daily atmospheric CO2 spikes reached new records during this crash?

    https://www.co2.earth/daily-co2

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      May 7, 2020 8:26 am

      Shut up and clap.

  3. jack broughton permalink
    May 6, 2020 7:22 pm

    I see that he is now trying to use 1950 as the key date, makes things look a lot faster than basing on 1850. I wonder if any of these eco-loons who want to save the earth by stopping all growth and human development have the slightest idea that the entire theory that underwrites the predictions is totally flawed. They follow the circular argument that “Scientists say……”. Unfortunately, the belief is stronger and has more influence on western politicians than other religions do.

    • spetzer86 permalink
      May 7, 2020 2:44 pm

      The true eco-loons want the global human population down to about 500 million, so growth and development really aren’t a huge concern

  4. Harry Passfield permalink
    May 6, 2020 7:25 pm

    McGrath’s charts cover 120 years of global development: did he expect there to be no change as a consequence? Would he give up all his modern acquisitions for a drop in temp of 1deg? He truly knows not whereof he speaks.

  5. Harry Passfield permalink
    May 6, 2020 7:30 pm

    Nope, can’t let this go…does McGrath think that his – really, non-productive life – would survive a reversion to basics? He would be un-employable. He adds nothing to the sum of Man.

  6. MrGrimNasty permalink
    May 6, 2020 7:34 pm

    Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick tells Britons buy a newspaper so local, regional and national publications make it through the Covid-19 shutdown, to save the free press.

    (a) Free press? That’s a joke, when even the Daily Mail has gone climate change PC, Brexit cold……. etc.
    (b) And the first people they vilified for non-essential shopping were ‘old blokes’ still going out to get a newspaper.

    Anyone else see the absurdity of relaxing the lockdown? We have far more infection circulating than when it came in, and according to ‘experts’ there is no massive asymptomatic population (which would be really awkward because the death rate would be correspondingly tiny – like/less than flu) – so only a tiny proportion of the population have had it and probably have some immunity.

    Either:
    (a) The lockdown was never necessary (blindingly obvious before and now).
    (b) They want to kill everyone – because if it was bad enough to justify the lockdown, releasing it now should surely set off a wildfire – unless less drastic measures like masks/distancing would have sufficed all along, or no action was necessary at all.

    They just can’t admit it was a monumental error so we have to go through this charade of stages of easing until someone comes up with a get out excuse like a good treatment or a vaccine or some scientist says it’s beaten and the MSM conveniently stops reporting every case that still keeps occurring.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      May 6, 2020 8:13 pm

      MrGM: My wife and I were having sun-downers on a neighbour’s deck – big enough to have social distancing observed – when my neighbour said she hoped social-distancing would be declared void by VE Day so we could all be closer together. I asked her, sitting more than two meters from me (an old friend with no symptoms for months – ditto her), would she sit closer to me and my wife tomorrow if the government said it was OK. ‘Yes’, she said. ‘It would be OK then’. To which, I replied, then what’s the difference between now and then? What has changed in our relationship?

      We have been scared into an agoraphobic state of mind by a state broadcaster and its pliant government. We have nothing to fear but fear itself. A famous man said that once. And another famous man said that once. (prizes for the answers! 🙂 )

      • bobn permalink
        May 7, 2020 2:05 am

        Well said harry.
        This is all fantasy. horrible to see how many people want to be obedient serfs to authorities and not think for themselves.
        Group hug everyone cause the Govt disapproves,.
        Hug for sanity – new t shirt slogan!

      • Bertie permalink
        May 7, 2020 10:12 am

        Roosevelt

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        May 7, 2020 10:52 am

        Bertie: And the second quote? 🙂

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      May 7, 2020 9:45 am

      It wasn’t “Blindingly obvious” that a lockdown wasn’t necessary. Once the government had abandoned any test & isolate policy, just taking a look at how the virus was rampaging through Italy’s industrial cities showed it needed doing.
      We were dealing with a virulent infection, a SARS, where we’ve seen mortality rates in other types of up to 25%. No government would risk a “Do nothing” strategy.
      The issue was & still is, that the infection isn’t spread uniformly, it’s a series of hot spots.
      The rate in the countryside is low, in the crowded city areas, high.
      It needed & still needs, local activity to reduce the rate of infection. Test, trace & quarantine measures. It needs boots on the ground, people with local knowledge of the areas they’re in.
      It also needs the Nightingale units, not shutting, but more opening to take the infected patients out of the main NHS system, so they can’t infect the already ill, in hospitals.
      The European Centre for Disease Prevention on 8 April, stated that Up to nine percent of all cases in Italy, 20 percent in Lombardy and 26 percent in Spain were among healthcare workers.
      A Chinese study, showed that 44% of the patients they studied, had contracted Covid-19 in hospital.
      In Scotland, https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18377810.coronavirus-scotland-patients-nine-healthboards-thought-got-virus-hospital/ where needless to say, the answer’s are being suppressed by the NHS & government.
      If there’s one take home message from the handling of this pandemic, it’s that one. Don’t treat the patients in the general healthcare system.

    • Rowland P permalink
      May 7, 2020 4:45 pm

      There is a vaccine being developed to be taken orally.
      See https://crowdvax.com/?ref=35084. This is coming from a British biotech company.

  7. Jackington permalink
    May 6, 2020 8:04 pm

    What a load of hog wash – I can’t be bothered to reply in detail.

  8. John189 permalink
    May 6, 2020 8:28 pm

    Returning to Matt McGrath, it seems to me that he is muddled between the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and the rate of CO2 emissions. Unless I have taken away a false impression, Mr McGrath believes that the former will fall if the latter falls – a widespread misconception?

    • May 6, 2020 9:28 pm

      CO2 in the atmosphere is NOT a problem and so says physics and geological history supports the theoretical physics but hey, there is an unholy alliance of marxists in a party frock, weasel politicians and the worst kind of capitalists and they will NOT let you or anyone spoil their party!

    • Tim Spence permalink
      May 7, 2020 9:53 am

      It’s utter bunkum in my opinion, how are they calculating a 90% drop in Paris and a 10% drop in New York?, can only be estimates and they sound real wrong.

  9. Broadlands permalink
    May 6, 2020 8:50 pm

    “Such emissions reductions will not happen via lockdowns and restrictions, but by climate policies that lead to the deployment of clean technologies and reductions in demand for energy.”

    Hog wash and a big enough hole to fly a jetliner through? The covid-virus has already shown to the policy-makers what happens to health and economies when CO2 emissions are rapidly lowered in the transport industry. Climate policies were not needed for this climate change dress-rehearsal. If these same destructive policies remain the same, the very destructive social and economic results will be the same… except our collective health will be better.

  10. May 6, 2020 8:52 pm

    Most so-called greenhouse gas is water vapour, so obsessing about the other few per cent is a joke anyway.

  11. buchanlad permalink
    May 6, 2020 8:57 pm

    The prospect of serious economic PAIN now and for many years to come will surely not prove acceptable to the public in return for uncertain supposed eco GAIN many years ahead
    Large scale computer modelling has taken a knock from which it does not deserve to recover

  12. May 6, 2020 9:25 pm

    I have a question which NEVER seems to be asked OR demanded of people like Mcgrath. I have written several times to the BBC including in those letters a request to enter into an empirical data based science only discussion with him. They have neither accepted nor refused my challenge thinking I suppose in their childish way that perhaps I will just go away. Firstly when anyone uses the word Carbon I think CRETIN because carbon is not the issue. In its diminutive form CO2 is easier to say so WHY NOT SAY IT! I know why the arts degreed lovies use it because carbon is black and there is symbolism there. I come from the world of empiricism not beliefs or fears or opinions or symbols.
    My question is simple but fundamental to this whole circus and here it is:
    “Where is the statistically significant empirical dataset(s) which demonstrate that CO2 released back into the Carbon Cycle by man is responsible for all or the majority of the current warming period, (the latest of four warming periods we know of in the last 3000 years), .which began 350 years ago”?
    (Even the IPCC do not push their luck before 1947 even though the incredibly stupid ever so trendily left of centre arts graduates in the BBC keep bleating on about “since the beginning of the industrial revolution” as if saying it often enough makes it a fact.I know that data does not exist. Am I alone looking at this whole climate circus in seeing the enormity of this, the fact that compelling data to support the CO2 demonization and the whole Climate Change Circus does not exist!
    Simply to have a proven effect there has to be a proven cause. There is no proven cause so they CANNOT attribute an effect (like climate for example)……Q.E.D!
    Yet the cretins do not seem to care about that which should make any cerebrating person sit up and pay close attention. Physics and its practitioners including the likes of Freeman Dyson and Will Happer to name but two is clear on the “potential” for the greenhouse effect to exist, (it is not proven, is only a modelled assertion), its potential impact on temperature (minimal) and any part played by CO2 in that to be a minimal part of a minimal effect. One important bit of physics is regarding a comparison of the electromagnetic spectra of CO2 and Water Vapour. CO2 has only a very small signature and that is in the utlra low IR end of the spectrum., Water vapour on the other hand 400 times more prevalent in the atmosphere absolutely swamps the signature of CO2. So whatever the greenhouse effect is…2% maybe 3% of total temperature flux. the DOMINANT part of this minimal effect is caused by WATER VAPOUR! The greenhouse effect has not been proven and two well respected physicists say even if it does exist its effect is marginal in the great scheme of things and that within that marginal effect CO2 does next to nothing. I will add that we have geological history which corroborates the theoretical physics and tells us many things like there is absolutely no relationship positively or negatively between atmospheric CO2 levels and temperature, non what so ever! Also the cretins avoid talking about the carbon cycle for a reason. CO2 exists in THREE media not two. Rocks, Water and Air. CO2 in rocks have been removed from the Carbon Cycle and this has been having a dramatic effect on the Carbon Cycle for the last 160 million years.. In that time atmospheric CO2 has been declining in a linear fashion. Why? Because marine organisms evolved which sequestrate CO2 and combine it with Calcium to make CaCO3, calcium carbonate tests or shells and those rocks have become the massive quantities of carbonaceous rocks in the world. During the depths of the first part of the current Ice Age atmospheric CO2 levels fell to around 180ppm or more bluntly 20ppm above the death of plant life (photosynthesis stops at 160ppm ). Plants die, we die, all life breathing oxygen dies. perhaps not many people are aware but the oxygen we breath comes from CO2. Plants PREFER around 2000ppm CO2 in the atmosphere because that is what it was when they evolved. Plants fed more CO2 grow faster and use much less water. Who could be against that? It is nature telling us what is good. On current trends the Earth will hit that 160ppm CO2 line in around 1.8 million years OR sooner should the next part of the CURRENT IceAge be as hard as the last or the Cretins get serious about CO2 removal in their lemming like race for the cliff. SO! What the hell are Cretins like McGrath spouting? Do they really have any idea what removing CO2 from the atmosphere means at todays levels? Certainly they spout belief of ideology not science, certainly not physics or geology based science. Possibly because he belongs to the new pseudo religious science which include fear, blackmail loss of earnings to some and riches and so much power to a small elite few. We have seen the work of this monster already where words take over and people become just a commodity to use and abuse. The name of that monster is marxism. over 100 people murdered in its name in the 20th century and fools like Mcgrath cannot wait to broadcast their CV’s to those they see as the potential future controllers of power.

  13. May 6, 2020 9:28 pm

    “Sorry to spoil the party, Matt, but there one or two holes in your logic!”

    Or three.
    The third hole is the assumption in the absence of evidence that changing humanity’s fossil fuel emissions will change atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/12/19/co2responsiveness/

  14. Devoncamel permalink
    May 6, 2020 9:41 pm

    As usual the Beeb blurted out this drivel without making the distinction between a naturally occurring trace gas and pollutants. It’s all about carbon dioxide rather than the obviously harmful nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide.
    Paul, you’ve covered this recently but can you remind me if the recent covid-19 crisis has seen a drop in these pollutants.

  15. Thomas Carr permalink
    May 6, 2020 9:44 pm

    Time now for Matt McGrath to watch Michel Moore’s latest. Matt suggests that a savage reduction in CO2 output may avoid temp increases of 3-4 degrees C .Note the word may.
    So to achieve a speculative outcome we are to commit to the certainty of impoverishment.

    Pity his employer has no informed senior editors to call out such jeremiads. The subject is a bit technical for some but that is no reason to allow this level of axe grinding to be exempt from peer revue. Again Matt may be ‘faulty’ but the BBC is culpable as the publisher.

  16. JCalvertN permalink
    May 6, 2020 9:58 pm

    I find his inability to distinguish between “carbon” and “CO2” annoying. (Or is it just laziness)

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      May 7, 2020 3:54 am

      It most certainly is not laziness, it is deliberate. CO2 is odourless and invisible to the human eye (of course St Greta can see it but then again she’s not human!) so it is quite difficult to demonise it. Straight carbon on the other hand is highly visible and can be portrayed as black and dirty and thereby somehow dangerous. Tell the average person that carbon is beautiful and most would find that hard to believe – but then again most have no idea about allotropy and if you ask them what a diamond was made of they would not know.
      I guess it all comes down to a marketing trick.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        May 7, 2020 11:13 am

        Ray (and others). Thank goodness I am not alone in my belief that the use of the term ‘Carbon’ has nasty racist overtones. The great and the good need to find a demon the frighten the ‘sheeple’ (as I once read – great name) so they chose the black bogeyman of our childhood nightmares. In any other context, had someone used ‘black’ to demonise a particular belief they would have been visited by the police.

  17. May 6, 2020 10:08 pm

    There’s a whole ‘Our Planet Matters’ section on the front BBC News page at the moment.
    We have a viral pandemic, government mandated lockdown and resultant economic crisis,
    and the BBC goes into green propaganda mode.
    The page entitled ‘A really simple guide to Climate Change’ made my blood boil.
    There is some honest information there, e.g “The Earth’s average temperature is about 15C but has been much higher and lower in the past”, but there are also some howlers.
    How about “The greenhouse gas with the greatest impact on warming is water vapour. But it remains in the atmosphere for only a few days.”
    And “As more CO2 is released into the atmosphere, uptake of the gas by the oceans increases, causing the water to become more acidic. ”
    The whole page is stuffed with get-outs such as ‘could’, ‘scientists say’, ‘predicted’ etc..
    The last time I wrote to the Beeb I got no reply.
    What can we do, apart fom not pay the licence fee?

  18. May 6, 2020 10:51 pm

    As Paul Homewood points out the warming in the first half of the 20th century, followed by 30 years of cooling, was at about the same rate as that in the latter part of the century supposedly due ‘mostly’, usually interpreted as totally, to human emissions.
    https://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1900/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1910/to:1945/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1970/to:2005/trend
    The NOAA Mauna Loa records indicate that the av. atmospheric CO2 concentration in April 2019 was 413.33 ppm and in April 2020 was 416.21, a difference of 2.88 ppm, while the NOAA say the av. annual growth rate over the past decade was 2.3 ppm per year i.e. no apparent slowing.
    https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/weekly.html

  19. Jonathan Scott permalink
    May 7, 2020 9:49 am

    I have a question which NEVER seems to be asked OR demanded of people like Mcgrath or indeed any or the purveyors, chancers, profiteers or hangers on to the Climate Circus. I have written several times to the BBC including in those letters a request to enter into an empirical data based science only discussion with him. They have neither accepted nor refused my challenge thinking I suppose in their childish way that perhaps I will just go away. Firstly when anyone uses the word Carbon I think CRETIN because carbon is not the issue. In its diminutive form CO2 is easier to say so WHY NOT SAY IT! I know why the arts degreed lovies use it because carbon is black and there is symbolism there. I come from the world of empiricism not beliefs or fears or opinions or symbols.
    My question is simple but fundamental to this whole circus and here it is:
    “Where is the statistically significant empirical dataset(s) which demonstrate that CO2 released back into the Carbon Cycle by man is responsible for all or the majority of the current warming period, (the latest of four warming periods we know of in the last 3000 years), .which began 350 years ago”?
    (Even the IPCC do not push their luck before 1947 even though the incredibly stupid ever so trendily left of centre arts graduates in the BBC keep bleating on about “since the beginning of the industrial revolution” as if saying it often enough makes it a fact.I know that data does not exist. Am I alone looking at this whole climate circus in seeing the enormity of this, the fact that compelling data to support the CO2 demonization and the whole Climate Change Circus does not exist!
    Simply to have a proven effect there has to be a proven cause. There is no proven cause so they CANNOT attribute an effect (like climate for example)……Q.E.D!
    Yet the cretins do not seem to care about that which should make any cerebrating person sit up and pay close attention. Physics and its practitioners including the likes of Freeman Dyson and Will Happer to name but two is clear on the “potential” for the greenhouse effect to exist, (it is not proven, is only a modelled assertion), its potential impact on temperature (minimal) and any part played by CO2 in that to be a minimal part of a minimal effect. One important bit of physics is regarding a comparison of the electromagnetic spectra of CO2 and Water Vapour. CO2 has only a very small signature and that is in the utlra low IR end of the spectrum., Water vapour on the other hand 400 times more prevalent in the atmosphere absolutely swamps the signature of CO2. So whatever the greenhouse effect is…2% maybe 3% of total temperature flux. the DOMINANT part of this minimal effect is caused by WATER VAPOUR! The greenhouse effect has not been proven and two well respected physicists say even if it does exist its effect is marginal in the great scheme of things and that within that marginal effect CO2 does next to nothing. I will add that we have geological history which corroborates the theoretical physics and tells us many things like there is absolutely no relationship positively or negatively between atmospheric CO2 levels and temperature, non what so ever! Also the cretins avoid talking about the carbon cycle for a reason. CO2 exists in THREE media not two. Rocks, Water and Air. CO2 in rocks have been removed from the Carbon Cycle and this has been having a dramatic effect on the Carbon Cycle for the last 160 million years.. In that time atmospheric CO2 has been declining in a linear fashion. Why? Because marine organisms evolved which sequestrate CO2 and combine it with Calcium to make CaCO3, calcium carbonate tests or shells and those rocks have become the massive quantities of carbonaceous rocks in the world. During the depths of the first part of the current Ice Age atmospheric CO2 levels fell to around 180ppm or more bluntly 20ppm above the death of plant life (photosynthesis stops at 160ppm ). Plants die, we die, all life breathing oxygen dies. perhaps not many people are aware but the oxygen we breath comes from CO2. Plants PREFER around 2000ppm CO2 in the atmosphere because that is what it was when they evolved. Plants fed more CO2 grow faster and use much less water. Who could be against that? It is nature telling us what is good. On current trends the Earth will hit that 160ppm CO2 line in around 1.8 million years OR sooner should the next part of the CURRENT IceAge be as hard as the last or the Cretins get serious about CO2 removal in their lemming like race for the cliff. SO! What the hell are Cretins like McGrath spouting? Do they really have any idea what removing CO2 from the atmosphere means at todays levels? Certainly they spout belief of ideology not science, certainly not physics or geology based science. Possibly because he belongs to the new pseudo religious science which include fear, blackmail loss of earnings to some and riches and so much power to a small elite few. We have seen the work of this monster already where words take over and people become just a commodity to use and abuse. The name of that monster is marxism. over 100 people murdered in its name in the 20th century and fools like Mcgrath cannot wait to broadcast their CV’s to those they see as the potential future controllers of power.

    • Ariane permalink
      May 7, 2020 10:31 am

      Jonathan, the ‘science’ starting with the IPCC is a red herring. The anti-CO2 movement was started by extreme Deep Green fascist right wing fanatics who had unaccountable power and plenty of money to propagate their ideology which was to DE-INDUSTRIALIZE the West/now, the world. The rest are ‘useful idiots.’ The anti-CO2 movement has nothing to do with Marxism, but people who like to think of themselves as ‘progressive’ spout ‘climate change’ nonsense because it’s fashionable and there is money in it. They are strengthening a fascist culture, social fear and State control over all of us.

    • Bertie permalink
      May 8, 2020 8:19 am

      I think that should be over 20 million murdered under Marxism.

      • Ariane permalink
        May 9, 2020 11:38 am

        Bertie, there’s quite some confusion over what ‘Marxism’ is, which may arise when Marx’s original writings haven’t been read. Marx analysed economic processes and the role of ‘workers’, in particular. If there is such a thing as ‘Marxism’, it refers to workers being in control of ‘the means of production’ and to the ‘withering away of the State.’ Autocrats who murder tens of millions are fascists even if they proclaim their State to be Marxist. That kind of State power can only be fascist, never Marxist and it’s an oxymoron to say a State is Marxist.

  20. CheshireRed permalink
    May 7, 2020 3:01 pm

    McGrath’s 3-4C of warming figure is totally false. It’s used only as a (powerful) PR tool to keep the public and politico’s scared. That level of runaway warming cannot happen for the simple reason that it didn’t happen in the past when geological data suggests CO2 levels were much higher than todays levels.

    We know it didn’t happen because if it did we’d be toast yet here we are still here talking about whether it happened or not! Unless the laws of physics have changed between then and now, it can’t happen now if it didn’t happen back then.

    He knows this, as does the Guardian, the BBC and every alarmist gob on a stick. But still they fabricate.

  21. May 7, 2020 4:33 pm

    I have had another reply to my BBC complaint about
    Climate change: ‘Clear and unequivocal’ emergency, say scientists
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-50302392

    Over the years the BBC replies to complaints have got worse and worse.
    The BBC did at least used to try to address the points you made.
    But no more. Know BBC replies are a just a fob off. They repeat the points they made before even though these points have been proven to be false and then ignoring the point raised in the complaint. I have tried restricting to just 2 or 3 points each clearly numbered and as brief as possible. But to know avail.

    My more recent complaint to the BBC about the way the Covid-19 numbers were miss reported conflating those who supposedly died WITH Covid-19 and those who supposedly died FROM Covid-19 and linking to BBC own Nick TriggleHealth correspondent
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51979654
    Is coronavirus causing the deaths?
    The death figures being reported daily are hospital cases where a person dies with the coronavirus infection in their body – because it is a notifiable disease cases have to be reported.
    But what the figures do not tell us is to what extent the virus is causing the death.
    It could be the major cause, a contributory factor or simply present when they are dying of something else.

    This just got the same meaningless reply that somehow missed the clear point.
    So I think complaining to the BBC is a waste of time.

    • dave permalink
      May 8, 2020 10:32 am

      “…resilience…”

      Whiteman uses a “sciencey word” and – as per usual for the low-brows who infest the academic world, nowadays – uses a word of science wrongly, in this case confusing ‘resilience’ with ‘elasticity.’

      ‘Elasticity’ means recovery of your original shape (or bulk) from an imposed strain, once the stress is removed; ‘resilience’ means recovery of energy that went into making a definite, stated, strained condition – ‘work’ of the stressing forces that has not degraded into heat energy.

      The word ‘resilience’ was coined by Lewis Gordon (the first professor of engineering at Glasgow University) some two hundred years ago, from the rare verb of the time ‘resile.’

  22. john cooknell permalink
    May 8, 2020 11:49 am

    I complained to the BBC about Matt McGrath including things in his “science” reports that were misleading and not supported by any evidence.

    I complained in particular about him including so called science linking Covid 19 to Climate Change, the BBC wrote back and told me he was entitled to do this as all science accepts that climate change is a fact!

    I wrote back and asked if that meant Matt was an expert in Epidemiology and could they point me to the medical science that links Covid 19 to Climate Change. The reply was amazing, Matt and his friends at the BBC actually believe the Covid 19 virus was caused by climate change.

    At that point I gave up, as I can see why Matt won an award! its official.

  23. May 10, 2020 12:47 pm

    “The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that the world will use 6% less this year – equivalent to losing the entire energy demand of India”

    Ok so its the entire energy demand of India but it’s still just 6%. Duh!

  24. avro607 permalink
    May 10, 2020 6:21 pm

    John-above.Did the BBC state that “climate change is a fact”or that c.chg change is due to CO2 warming?
    One is true the other unproven.

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